The tagline for The Dicks From Texas is ‘the men, the myth, the music’ – certainly a fitting description for this documentary film about one of the most outrageous and influential punk bands of all time.
First-time director Cindy Marabito has pulled off a real coup with this documentary, delivering a film that looks and feels more like a lovingly curated compilation of family movies than anything else – a perfect touch for her subjects. Friends, family, and fans tell the Dicks story, from their Austin, Texas, origins in the late 1970s – a place and a time when concepts like embracing homosexuality and holding an affinity for communist revolutionaries like Chairman Mao were not exactly going to win you many friends in the above-ground world – to their induction into the Austin Music Awards Hall Of Fame in 2008, and beyond.
Interviews spanning decades – with subjects including original Dicks (vocalist Gary Floyd, also of Sister Double Happiness; late guitarist Glen Taylor; bassist Buxf Parrott, and drummer Pat Deason), latter-day Dicks (like drummer Lynn Perko, also of SDH), Texas punk compatriots (late Big Boys vocalist Randy ‘Biscuit’ Turner; Offenders drummer Pat Doyle; late Offenders guitarist Tony Johnson; Scratch Acid/The Jesus Lizard frontman David Yow; Butthole Surfers drummer King Coffey; rawk bad-ass Texas Terri), national punk admirers (Minor Threat/Fugazi frontman Ian MacKaye; S.O.A./Black Flag vocalist Henry Rollins; Minutemen/fIREHOSE bassist Mike Watt; Black Flag/DC3/Misfits guitarist/vocalist Dez Cadena), and an amazing array of friends and family – are cut with live footage and hundreds of vintage photos to tell the tale of how a ‘poster band’ that didn’t actually exist not only came to life, but actually went on to influence 4 decades (and counting) of punks, activists, and oddballs.
The biggest thrill in this package, for me, is the bonus live footage: 7 songs captured by Target Video mastermind Joe Rees at San Francisco’s On Broadway in 1982 and 5 more filmed by Vicki Sprague at the Akron, Ohio, stop on 1983’s Rock Against Reagan tour.
To paraphrase Jello Biafra… Dicks über alles! The Impaler
Official website: The Dicks From Texas | Twitter: @texasdicks